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TO DIE NEXT TO YOU, poems byRodger Kamenetz/ drawings byMichael Hafftkais a unique event in the literary and artistic world.Two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream worldand its imaginal colors and sacred words, have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More that a collaboration this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious...
TO DIE NEXT TO YOU, poems byRodger Kamenetz/ drawings byMichael Hafftkais a unique event in the literary and artistic world.Two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream worldand its imaginal colors and sacred words, have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More that a collaboration this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious depth of word and image, in which master painter and poet present verbal and visual displays of agony and joy, destruction and falling, love and dying.This project has taken ten years to produce, from the first poems that emerged from Rodger Kamenetz' encounter with dreamwork to three years of gestation as Michael Hafftka internalized the poems and reconstituted them in images that serve as imaginative midrash, annotation, anticipation and anti-illustration. The drawings offer brilliant first readings of the poems without limiting their scope, and it is equally possible to read the poems as reflections and interpretations of the drawings. The brilliant design of Andrew Shurtz allows the reader to move between worlds of poetry and painting, without losing trace of either one.Advanced praisefor this new work has been overwhelming. Poet and art criticDavid Shapirohails Kamenetz as"one of the secret best poets in America"and finds in his work"the fire in the heart of the great transcendental Romantics."Turning his eye to Hafftka's"fabulous anti-illustrations"he compares the artist to Soutine and Bacon and finds him"a humanist in the line of Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt and Meyer Shapiro."John Yau, another greatly accomplished poet and art critic, says that Kamenetz has sent us poems that"are mysterious and open- both parable and their opposite, anti-parable", while Hafftka"with pen and ink" "registers the turmoil of being afflicting the inhabitants of the strange world called Now. "Together, Yau writes, poet and artist have"achieved the miraculous."
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